On Sunday, Jess Eriko watched North Carolina Tar Heels eliminate Cinderella’s run to 15th seed St Peter Peacock for a semi-final match with her arch rival – the Duke Blue Devils.
One day later, the first-year University of North Carolina law student realized she was in trouble. The Final Four match—the first time the Tar Heels and Blue Devils would face the NCAA Championship—was scheduled for Saturday, right before Errico and about 200 of her peers had to turn in the podium draft for the legal writing course. The assignment equals 65 percent of their grade.
Eriko, 26, told the Washington Post that she considered getting the job done early on or simply emailing her professor to ask for more time. Then an idea came to her: she was going to defend the delay by using the lessons her professors had taught throughout the year.
For the rest of her movement, it was reported first by Charlotte ObserverErrico spelled the private university 10 miles northeast of UNC as “Dook,” a common tar heel strike at their in-state competitors.
Her argument: The course curriculum allows for extensions when “something wild” happens during the school year, with the curriculum citing “two weeks of snow days” as an example. Eriko suggested that Saturday’s Final Four match is just an occasion.
“Like two weeks of snow, Dook and UNC never happened in the NCAA tournament. Although both teams of men’s basketball teams have played a combined 334 NCAA games for a total of 34 games in the Final Four, North Carolina’s rivals They never faced the lead in an NCAA Championship match at the table.”
Her classmate joined in the fun by presenting the brief “amicus curiae” in support of the Errico movement. In it, sophomore Adam Gillette included a two-frame “Mad Men” image related to the upcoming game.
One of the Errico professors, Rachel Gurevich, described the arguments as “Very convincing.” A day after receiving Errico’s proposal, Gurvich met with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the other seven professors who teach the course. They unanimously decided to fulfill her request.
The result came with a ruling from the “court” the next day. The “law and basketball court” judges were agreeing to her request by extending the student’s 48-hour deadline to Tuesday night, three days after the game against Duke and 24 hours after the NCAA Championship.
Separate the paragraphs in order: a three-point series for basketball.
In Eriko’s words, she sent an unreasonable request, and her professors immediately returned that request.
Eriko told The Post that she knows being a lawyer is serious business – which is why she decided to become a lawyer. After graduating from North Carolina State University in 2019 with a double major in mechanical and aerospace engineering and then two years working as an engineer, she craved her advocacy work.
She said lawyers often deal with “the worst days of other people’s lives”.
This makes it especially important to pump up the lift when you can, she added. This week, she saw an opportunity to do so and seized it.
“I get tickled because other people find it funny and laugh,” said Eriko.
Mission accomplished, at least according to her professors.
“This whole thing has brought so much happiness to so many people,” Gurevich said in a tweet. “Our students learn about advocacy and have simply shown joy out of nothing. Being able to say yes to them made me smile all day long.”
Gurevich added a footnote: “And now [Errico] She is a legend.”
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